It is not the builder's agent or the buyer's agent that gets the commission. It is the builder and the buyer's agent's real estate firm that gets the commission. The builder pays salary and/or commission to the site agent depending on how they set it up. I cannot speak to that. In the case of the real estate company, most companies take a percentage off the top of the commission to send to Corporate, typically 6-8%. What is left goes to the Broker of the company. The broker splits the remaining commission with the agent according to a contract they have between them-- 50/50. 60/40,70/30. When the agent receives their share, they pay all their staff (if they have a team or assistants) typically $10-20/hr. Many companies charge their agents an office or desk fee, copier paper fee ( color copies $.20/copy,), E and O insurance, phone line fees,internet and tech support fees,web site fees. Then there are lead generation expenses, enhancement to the MLS and Realtor.com, etc. charges, marketing exenses, appointment center charges....... That's just the tangible stuff. Now we get into the time spent on the phone, Blackberry and internet communication with all parties, other agents,title companies,mortgage companies, file work, follow up,MLS entry, conveyancing,searching for properties for the buyer and comparative market analyses for the seller (hours of work). We are on the phone from dawn to dusk,answering questions, putting out fires,checking up,negotiating contracts, home inspections,and the like, till weel into the night many times... 24/7. An attorney charges hourly and bill s monthly, regardless of the outcome of the case, in most instances. You know their fees. Realtors don't get their portion of the fee until after the property closes. Even after settlement, there is lots of followup. Sooo, now you see where the money goes and hopefully have a better understanding of the process. And, if the property appraises for $400,000, that's its worth. The commission is the cost of doing business.